Article written by Jess Jones.

British rugby player Sam Stanley has hit out at criticism of his intergenerational engagement.

Stanley revealed on Instagram earlier this year that he and his partner Laurence Hicks—34 years his senior—are engaged, Pink News has reported.

The engagement has attracted criticism from some, most of which Stanley says comes from within the gay community.


“I think if you’d caught the reaction to our engagement online most of the hate was from other gay people,” he said.

“That surprises me quite a lot with what gay people alone have to go through in terms of being judged. There’s a hell of a lot of judgement just within the gay community.”

Hicks said, “Younger gay guys who are obviously not into intergenerational relationships don’t get it at all, particularly the difference in body size.

“Funnily enough, most of our straight friends are very comfortable with it.

“We both know the intergenerational thing is not everyone’s cup of tea, but please don’t judge either of us without really knowing us or appreciating the love we have for each other and the joy we bring to each other’s lives.”

Stanley and Hicks have been together seven years, having first met on the website

“Laurence and I love each other and to us that’s all that matters,” said Stanley.

“We’re proud to represent the many relationships like ours.”